Moving From Thesis To Genesis

There was a lot of response on the prior article on how to choose your best wordpress theme so thank you everyone for commenting and engaging on the conversation.

If you want the quick answer on why I moved from Thesis to Genesis, is because I want to learn how the framework works in order to code my own themes and for my clients as well.

Nothing else.

I still love Thesis and I intend to keep using both of the frameworks as I need it but I’ll be using Genesis on the Marketing With Sergio blog.

If you want the long post version, then keep on reading…

Thesis Framework (DIY Themes)

I paid for the Thesis developer’s license ($164) but they also offer a single site license for $87 (with options to upgrade to developer’s for $77).

The developer’s license means that you can install Thesis on as many sites as you want as long as they are yours and you can also buy licenses for clients at a discounted fee.

Thesis does not offers skins (child themes) themselves but there are many third party companies that develop custom child themes for Thesis.

I have seen free skins for Thesis on the web but I never used any of those so I don’t know how good or bad they are.

In my own experiences with Thesis, I believe the framework is fast loading, has amazing SEO properties and looks really neat outside the box.

Many people claim that all Thesis sites look alike, and I kind of agree but that would be the same case if you didn’t customize anything with any other theme or framework, so that’s not a valid point.

You can change a lot of properties like header, width, columns, fonts, colors and much more stuff right from the dashboard without touching a single piece of code.

If you want to get even more creative, as in moving stuff around, displaying boxes differently, then you have to dabble with code, no escape from that.

Genesis Framework (StudioPress)

The Genesis framework is only $59.95 and it includes the Genesis Theme with it.

There’s an option to buy the Pro Plus package for a one time payment of $349.95 (this is the option I bought).

The Pro Plus package ($349.95) includes unlimited everything (support, updates,  websites and every single theme they build in the future) and access to more than 45+ premium themes already built (and growing) for the Genesis framework.

I still haven’t dabbled that much with the Genesis framework but so far I’m very happy with all the possibilities of the child themes and the customizations.

Can’t say much about SEO yet (I have only been using it for a week or so) but as far as I understand, it has robust SEO properties as well.

I haven’t been able to play around much with the code either but I still haven’t seen any easy options for changing the site’s width or colors or anything like that.

I’m guessing I will have to dive in for a little code editing but that shouldn’t represent a problem with all of their support forums and resources on how to edit their child themes.

The Marketing With Sergio site feels a lot more responsive in loading times, I think it does look way more elegant (although this has nothing to do with frameworks) and so far I am very pleased with it, generally speaking.

How I’m Planning To Use Both Frameworks


Thesis is a beast to rank sites.

I did a lot of blog hopping but I don’t take full credit for my current SEO.

Thesis definitely helped in getting my site under 100k on Alexa in just about two months or even less.

I plan to use it for niche based sites and trainings as well.

I love that I can just change backgrounds, colors and widths in just seconds and everything falls into place perfectly nice.


I intend to use Genesis as my main theme developing platform.

The child themes look sexy without much editing and I can show the available themes as a portfolio for clients.

I recently bought Premise 2.0 which is a plugin for WordPress (also from the Genesis developers) that allows you to create landing pages and add a lot of functionality to pages meant to be monetized.

The latest addition for Premise 2.0 is that they’re including a membership integration and product download protection along many other features.

Just knowing that I’ll have the full power of Genesis + Premise all under one roof makes me want to stop writing this article and start working on my new projects already.

I’m planning to take Genesis to the next level and hopefully, my business with it.

Check Out The Frameworks Here

If you want to buy Thesis, you can do so here (affiliate link):

buy thesis framework

If you want to buy Genesis, you can do so here (affiliate link):

buy genesis framework

Check Out Premise 2.0

If you want to buy Premise, you can do so here as well (affiliate link):

buy premise for WordPress


Like the saying… “if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it.”

If you’re happy with your current theme, then stay with it and keep on working on growing your business.

I know I’ll keep using both frameworks and I may even buy more themes in the future.

My plans include going back to technical stuff like PHP, MySQL Databases and Javascript so it’s only logic to take these decisions right now.

For you, as a last word of recommendation, Genesis offers a few free themes and free child themes that you can use even if you own just the genesis framework ($59.95)

Honestly, some of them look even better than some of the premium themes but that’s just my opinion.

You may only need to invest on the framework and build up from there maybe?

Your call, but if you need help, you know you can ask me anything you want. ;-)

Thank you for reading and speak soon!




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  1. Reply

    You did a great job of not leaning too far in either direction, Sergio.

    I have been using Thesis for a couple of years now and I too decided to use Genesis for a change just a few months back.

    After a couple of months of playing with it, I found myself asking why I made the switch. There’s nothing wrong with Genesis… don’t get me wrong. But Thesis wasn’t broken, so I wasn’t sure why I attempted to fix it. I think I just wanted to justify my devotion to Thesis.

    Since, I have gone back to Thesis on all of my blogs. I still have Genesis ready to go in the event I decide to use it on a new project, but I am happy with Thesis. I dig deep into its functionality (as I am sure you know, 90% of Thesis users have no clue how to REALLY use it) and it serves me quite well.

    As for Premise, I love the latest announcement. That really steps the game up. I never cared for Premise before because knowing a little code can make the whole landing page game a breeze. Version 2.0 definitely changes things, though, as I have owned 3 vBulletin forums in the past and the integration would be lovely.

    Anyway, nice article. I have the strangest feeling that there’s going to be a lot of Thesis bashing going on in the comments. It should be fun to watch. :)


    1. Reply

      Hey Sean,

      Yeah man, I like to give credit where it’s due so I’m just getting a new wp framework, that’s all.

      I like your comment a lot.

      I have done stuff like that in the past (testing new stuff) but mainly because I don’t want to feel like I’m missing something.

      I guess it’s perfectly fine to test out something new and if it doesn’t feels right, just go back to what we like right?

      I must have read the Premise sales page at least like five times today before deciding to purchase it (I was convinced already but the money I used was for something else lol)

      What grabbed my attention was the membership features and the protected download areas, I still need to check how that is going to work in order to design a business model that suits it and works for me.

      The integration with vBulletin should be flawless from what I read so I know you are going to get a great benefit on that aspect.

      Thesis bashing? Well I don’t know, I guess we will have to wait and see although Brankica doesn’t seems to be very happy about Thesis anymore haha

      Thanks for your great comment and feedback Sean, look forward to check out more of your work.

      PS. Just saw your Success On My Mind site and it looks sexy as hell for Thesis, good job man!

      1. Reply

        Thanks a lot! I spent a weekend deciding to crush the myth that all Thesis sites look alike and… well… I think it worked! :)

        1. Reply

          It certainly did work Sean!

          I’m actually thinking I should be doing a bit more extensive work on Thesis internals after checking out your sites.

          I think I’m starting to get spoiled… Up to this point I wouldn’t expect anything less from you so keep up the good job!

          If you ever write anything on Thesis custom editing, please let me know.

          I’m pretty sure that’d definitely rock (just don’t give away your custom design business secrets either!)

          1. Reply

            Haha I’m be sure to let you know. And yes…. if you’re holding back on digging into Thesis internals, you’re cheating yourself! All Thesis sites have a bad rap for looking alike. If you know how to avoid that look, I think it automatically separates you from 99% of the other users… and that’s a GREAT thing. :)

            1. Amen brother! Couldn’t have said that better myself.

      • Zimbrul
      • April 16, 2012

      Sean mate, your site looks great!

    • Linda
    • February 28, 2012

    I like the new look, Sergio! And it seems to load extremely fast. Good job!!

    Talk to you soon!


    1. Reply

      Hey Linda,

      Glad you liked it and great review for Omar Martin’s training too!

      I know you wanted to do that review in video, so are you planning to join Barry on his video challenge and create a video for it?

      It starts tomorrow.

    • Brankica
    • February 28, 2012

    Love the new theme, buddy, hahaha. Ok, there is one thing someone told me when I did the switch and I have to agree. Thesis theme (even with skins) looks a bit “boxy” while Genesis looks smoother. And I kinda agree, lol.
    By the way, I just installed Eleven40 mobile responsive theme from Genesis and I am in love. It is amazing and looks sooooo pretty when resized.
    Some of the edits you mentioned need to be done in code, that is true, but I resized all Gen. themes I used in a second, just changing a few pixel sizes, lol.

    Genesis SEO is as good as Thesis and if you want to make it even better, use WordPress SEO plugin, it integrates perfectly with Genesis and it is way stronger than Thesis (more nice options), Yoast and the Studiopress team worked together on integrating them so it is the perfect combo. I had Thesis remove all my SEO data twice :(

    1. Reply

      Hey Brankica,

      Thesis …”Boxy”? Well yeah, I guess! LOL

      I have seen you change your themes a lot of times since you decided to take the plunge and I can tell you every single “look” on your site has been great so far.

      I have like a gazillion opened tabs on Genesis resources right now, so I’m still trying to figure out where am I going to start (buying Premise distracted me massively as I was in shock when I saw the resources I got.)

      I wasn’t aware that Yoast worked with Studiopress so thanks for that info, will definitely look into their plugin again (with Thesis I wasn’t using anything but their own.)

      Still remember you struggled massively with Thesis not long ago and I also remember a twitter discussion from that… anyway, glad you’re happy, I’m happy and let’s see where this ends!

      Thanks for stepping in Brankica, first time on my site as well I think? lol j/k

      Looking forward to see what you do with Premise, I know I can’t barely wait to get started with my testings.

      Take care and if I do get stuck, I know where to seek for help now! ;-)

    • Joe Lampo
    • February 28, 2012

    Greetings, Sergio, and congrats again for making the move a reality! The site looks great, a positive move for sure. I have one question at the moment. Will the SEO from the Genesis framework be fully compatible with the All-in-One SEO plugin for WP? Just curious about it so I’ll know what to expect when I make the change. Thanks so much for your time in replying. Keep up the good work here! Best regards!

    1. Reply

      Hey Joe,

      As far as I’m concerned, you’ll get even better results using Genesis + WordPress SEO (made by Yoast and more than one million downloads already)

      The AIO-SEO plugin does an amazing job on its own but I wouldn’t use it on these top of the line frameworks.

      Hope that helps!

    • Patrick Griffin
    • February 28, 2012

    I love this blog post.
    When I was at school we had exam questions which would follow this formula:
    “Compare and contrast ‘x’ with ‘y’ making specific reference to ‘z’
    The aim was to see whether people could find similarities and differences in two items and talk about them in a logical fashion.
    And this is what you have done here.

    Just from reading this article I feel I have a good basic understanding on both themes and – even better – because you seem to have found a following of people who leave really useful feedback via comments I know even more now.


    1. Reply

      Hey Pat,

      Glad you’re improving your understanding on all these blogging terms and I know you’ll be an expert soon as well!

      As far as Brankica (Genesis) and Sean (Thesis) goes, they are top of the line bloggers so I’m really happy they took the time to come here and share their experiences with these frameworks with us.

      Looks like the site is finally growing, yay! ;-)

      Thanks for commenting and don’t forget to let me know if you need anything else with the experiment you were doing earlier today.

  2. Reply

    I like the Genesis look Sergio, and I must say I’m looking forward to seeing what you have in store for your new look.

    Premise is my next buy for my next product, I will save a ton of time using it.

    Like I mentioned before I have both themes, I actually started with the Genesis theme but my blog developer at the time talked me out of it, and he was $800 cheaper than the Genesis blog developer.

    Since having both sets of framework, Genesis for niche sites and Thesis for my main blog. I have experimented with both and do find Genesis very easy to work with once you install the simple hooks plugin.

    Thesis has a bit of code to get used to as well as the css. I suppose I get along ok :-)

    I may change in the future but not yet.

    I recon you might be doing my next blog update Sergio.

    Thanks Sergio


    1. Reply

      Hey Dan,

      Another user for both frameworks (Thesis & Genesis) that’s very cool man!

      Thanks for the Simple Hooks suggestion, I already have that installed here but I’m barely starting to test things out.

      If you can see there’s nothing yet but posts and monthly archives.

      So I still need to fix a lot of stuff, since I don’t want to waste time creating any graphics that I may change later, I’m still figuring out exactly what I’m going to do next.

      Instead I published these two posts and forgot about working on the site LOL But I’m already on it!

      Anyway $800 cheaper than the Genesis developer, that’s quite an amount there, I think I’d have done the same too.

      Your next blog update… haha oh my, I hope I can be that knowledgeable then!

      Thanks for stepping in Dan, always like your feedback here, speak soon and take care!

  3. Reply

    Hi Sergio

    If you can create custom themes next time I’m feeling flush I will be asking for you to design my site, as I’m really getting fed up of socrates and need to go for a cleaner more web 2.0 look you have going on here.

    When I was doing the research for my video on listbuilding I saw a few great sites that were awesome personal branding, and this may be my next stage I want to take.

    Let me know when you add a “Hire Me” page to the blog :-)


    1. Reply

      Hey Andrew,

      Wow I like your way of thinking man!

      With the current framework I’m using (Genesis) you get a lot of functionality and flexibility without requiring the help of a theme developer or even a coder.

      I haven’t actually reviewed Genesis or Thesis here on the blog (yet)

      The past post was on selecting the right wordpress theme and on this post, the reasons on why I moved from Thesis to Genesis.

      I expect to review Genesis in the next days and… Do you remember about the product I was telling you about blogs? I think I will integrate Genesis into that.

      As I believe that would benefit a lot anyone who is interested in creating a great blog from scratch, I mean they go hand in hand right?

      Thanks for stepping in and wow mate, the bit about the “Hire Me” page just made my day, thank you!

      I hope to see that blog of yours step its game up real soon, no doubt about that and you know you have my support here to help you out, take care! ;-)

    • Dee
    • March 1, 2012

    Hi Sergio
    I haven’t been over here for a while, but WOW haven’t you been busy?
    They say you have to live with something for a while to know if you like it or not.
    I am thinking of changing the themes on a couple of my sites but will probably use John Thornhill’s theme.
    Your site is looking great

    1. Reply

      Definitely Dee,

      If it’s working for you, then just leave it alone.

      The Twenty Eleven theme is free, clean and has the web 2.0 looks right out of the box so you can’t go wrong with that one.

      John Thornhill used to recommend ProSense to his students but that theme is way outdated today.

      It was developed in 2007 mainly for displaying Adsense and I personally think there are better options for that today.

      JT currently uses Flexibility3 on his main blog. A bit old for my taste too but definitely way better than ProSense and with a lot more available properties and features to dabble with.

      If I had to choose one from these themes, I’d pick Twenty Eleven hands down.

      Thank you for your kind comments Dee, speak soon! ;-)

    • Ralph | Social Media Explained
    • March 1, 2012

    Hi Sergio,

    I’ve used both (like you) but I like the simplicity of Thesis.
    After all, your blog is only as good as the content.

    You’re blog may look amazing but if the content is bad … nothing will happen.

    I like the skins you can get for Genesis, that is for sure. But you will still end up with the same layout as many others but I think that is a general thing with blogs :)

    1. Reply

      Hey Ralph,

      Here are two great examples of untouched sites with big followings:

      Matt Cutts (Thesis)
      Ed Dale (Woo Themes – Canvas)

      These guys achieved massive followers for who they are, but definitely not because of their blog’s looks.

      Thesis is VERY easy to manipulate right from the dashboard while with Genesis I still feel a little ‘trapped’ but I’m sure it’s only because I still haven’t jump to code yet.

      You’re right about ending up with the same layout no matter what theme you choose, though.

      If there is no customization, there’s no uniqueness.

      Thanks for stepping in man, really appreciate it, speak soon!

  4. Reply

    Content Matter , But Few Blogger prefer Look and easy Customization

    1. Reply

      I believe having a combination of both things won’t hurt the visitors, a great looking site and great content in it!

    • Adrienne
    • March 2, 2012

    Okay, here I go.

    I love you Sergio and I’ll continue to visit your site no matter what you do to it but I did like your Thesis look much better. Ah yes, I’m a Thesis lover so although I don’t have a custom theme on mine, I love the look. Maybe one day but for now I’m very happy.

    Wow, that’s really expensive to go the pro version with Genesis. I know a lot of people really like it so to each his own right!

    I know you’re going to become a pro at coding all of this which is why you did this and I totally understand your thinking. So I’m going to wish you the very best of luck my friend and I know you’re going to become a pro in no time at all.

    ~Adrienne :-)

    1. Reply

      Hey Adrienne,

      I know you’re a big fan of Thesis and I actually like the minimalist look of your blog a lot.

      About the cost, considering that you can get the Genesis framework for under $60 and get a lot of free child themes supported by CopyBlogger, it is way cheaper than Thesis.

      Like I said in my article, I still love both frameworks and this change here is only to force myself to learn more about the framework (I still have Thesis on many other sites).

      Thank you for your best wishes and your massive on-going support Adrienne.

      Hope you have a great weekend and hope to speak soon as well! ;-)

    • Jens P. Berget
    • March 3, 2012

    Hi Sergio,

    I’ve been using Thesis too, then Elegant Themes, Woo Themes and now Genesis. I bought the pro plus package and will be using it for all my clients. I did it because it looks awesome, and it is highly customizable. And I want to be focusing on one framework, and learn everything there is about that, so I’ll be in total control :)

    I highly recommend moving to Genesis, even though I don’t have anything bad to say about the others :)

    1. Reply

      Hey Jens,

      Oh my God man, you’re a WordPress Junkie just like me!

      I haven’t tried Woo Themes (yet) but I will, I have a few projects that could really benefit from a few of their Themes and they fit those couple of projects perfectly.

      (Hint: The Listings Theme can be a very profitable theme if used and marketed right although it is not cheap.)

      So I wasn’t aware you were providing site development services, I think that’s pretty cool Jens and having all those resources I’m sure your clients will be happy to know you are flexible enough for them to get just what they need.

      I really think that you should be focusing on one framework only, I don’t but then again, I’m not that smart so I like to have a lot of stuff on my head or I’d get bored pretty quick.

      PS. Those OptinSkin are looking very good on your site already man, good job!

    • Dee
    • March 3, 2012

    Hi Sergio,

    Love the site – it’s first time on here, so can’t comment on how much more fabulous it looks :)

    One thing that is pretty amazing here is the content, and the very active commenting community. Never heard of Premise, but I’ll definitely be checking it out.

    Great info.


    1. Reply

      Hey Dee,

      Like they say… There’s a first time for everything!

      I’d like to think that the site looked good before but I think it looks way better now so you didn’t miss much.

      Premise really rocks, I’m currently conducting a few experiments and I’m still shocked by all that I got in return for the investment, will publish something when I start getting some cool results with it.

      Thank you for your kind comment about the content and the community built around here.

      It is certainly one handful of true, honest and wonderful marketers and bloggers which I’m proud to consider my own friends.

      Take care and speak soon Dee! ;-)

    • Cat Alexandra
    • March 6, 2012


    I love the new look in here.

    I was on Genesis Framework for a little while but didn’t understand it very much at the time and opted to switch to Thesis. I have been loving the SEO lovin I get from it so have been sticking with it, but am not sure I want to keep it at this stage. I am feeling the need for some customizations that I just don’t want to put time into…may just look into getting someone to help me out on that – or perhaps kicking around Genesis again to see if I can suit it to my tastes.

    Anyway…nuff about me. I love how you revamped in here. The navigation is smooth and the site just looks really great. Nice work!

    Cat ;)

    1. Reply

      Hey Cat,

      Oh so you changed from Genesis to Thesis? Hah, that’s a new one for a change but totally understandable too.

      Thesis is a monster when it comes to SEO and honestly, one of the best I have ever seen.

      For Thesis customizations either you do it yourself or pay someone else to do it for you. On Genesis I have found that you can change the looks a lot easier from Thesis since you have high end child themes available already (even the free ones look good in case you don’t have the Pro Plus package).

      On Thesis you have a lot of customization controls right at your finger tips but if you’re willing to start moving containers around, then you must dive into code.

      I have a live project going on that focuses on building sites for local businesses based on WordPress where I’m getting more on-field experience.

      I might offer the service here or better yet, create a membership site for teaching theme tweaking for marketers in the near future, I think that’d be very cool.

      Anyway, take care and thank you for your kind comments Cat. ;-)

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    • Zimbrul
    • April 16, 2012

    I’ve came across Thesis before I discovered Genesis. In fact Yoast encouraged me to use Genesis when I was looking for a solid premium WordPress theme. In less than one week my site visitors from organic search has doubled! Nothing done on my site just installed Genesis.
    With Genesis is also fun to play with: can do interesting stuff like adding extra widgets areas and combined with Genesis Simple Sidebars gives you amazing flexibility.
    Thesis is amazing as well but I cannot find enough quality skins. For Genesis you can either buy premium themes or get free themes – check @wpcanada for one.
    And to be fair, StudioPtess Pro Pack is a great deal: UNLIMITED everything now and for the end of times.
    One question regarding Premise: does it work with Thesis?

    1. Reply

      Hey Zimbrul,

      Premise does work with Thesis (or any other theme) because it is a plugin, not a theme.

      As for SEO goes, I think that Thesis power is second to none but there has been a lot of buzz lately that Genesis + Yoast SEO is just as equally competitive for that.

      The StudioPress Pro Pack has 40+ themes and you get every new StudioPress theme for free but it also means an investment of more than $300 USD.

      Thesis is a bit in disadvantage there as they don’t offer theme skins but considering that you can get Thesis for almost the same as a StudioPress theme + Genesis Framework, it all boils down to which one do you prefer the most.

      Many say that Thesis is “boxy looking” but I think that with a bit of coding you can get it to look beautiful.

      Sean Davis’ sites are living proof of that.

      Hope that helps and thanks for stopping by Zimbrul! ;-)

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